Motorhome Essentials

No oven, No worries – The Mr D’s Thermal Cooker

Paloma, our beloved motorhome is very European, in the fact that she no oven!

How do you cook good food without an oven?

When you head off on your road trip you look forward to the simple pleasures of life on the road, outdoor living; great views; and, of course, fabulous food with family and friends.

However, many motorhomes, caravans and campervans have very limited cooking facilities. We only have a 2 ring gas hob.

And cooking a big variety of dishes without an oven can be a challenge. But this need not restrict what you can eat, as there is a lot of choice of cooking equipment designed to help you recreate your favourite recipes as you travel

I think that it was back in 2016 at the Caravan Show that we bought a Mr D’s Thermal Cooker, a nifty looking gadget. A quick Google search will let you know just how popular these are in the boating world.

Mr d thermal cooker, in a motorhome


Thermal cooking is a form of slow cooking done with retained heat. If you have ever turned off the stove to allow the food to finish cooking on the “leftover” heat, you have engaged in a simple form of thermal cooking.

With some simple tools, this technique can be harnessed to make cooking easy, inexpensive and very fuel-efficient.

Thermal cooking has a long history in many parts of the world, including China, Japan, Australia, Norway, the UK and the US.

A common name for this has been “haybox” or “haybasket” cooking. This name comes from the tradition of filling a box or basket with hay or cloth before putting your pot or casserole in it.

Today thermal cooking looks quite different,but they still have the same purpose, to retain the heat in your cooking pot for hours!

Enter our Mr D thermal cooker.

Mr d thermal cooker, the modern day hay box


We love the simplicity and low-maintenance of thermal cooking. You may spend 10-20 minutes preparing a dish (chopping veggies, browning onion, etc.), but once the dish is in the pot and boiling, you can transfer it to the insulated container.

From that point on it takes care of itself. No pots to mind, no risk of burning your food, no fuss and no power/fuel consumption.

You can go about your day or in our case normally drive off to the destination!

When it is time to eat, you simply open the lid and serve. That is wonderfully convenient when you are tired after a long day of sight seeing

But what I love the most is that the food is always tasty. Meat becomes tender, even if you are using a cheap, tough cut.

Lentils and beans develop that melt-in-your mouth texture.

Flavours are allowed the time to develop.

This results in a delicious meal with very little effort. I’ll take a thermal-cooked stew over a microwaved instant meal any day.

so to recap:-

  • Put all the ingredients in the inner pot, bring to boil then reduce to simmer
  • Simmer for 10 to 15 minutes (depending on the recipe instructions)
  • Once the simmering time is complete take the inner pot, off the stove and put it into the outer pot after the required time just open the outer pot, and the meal is hot and ready
  • Now how Convenient is that, no supervision or monitoring. All your Food can be cooked while you are travelling.
  • Thermal cooking, no power required for perfect lazy motorhome cooking
  • Paul.
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2 thoughts on “No oven, No worries – The Mr D’s Thermal Cooker

  • Elaine

    Love ours too Paul. Made a minestrone soup the other day that did us 2 days for lunch. I bought a ready prep’d veg pack and boiled it up with some stock, tin of tomatoes, some mixed beans and seasoning. 2 hours in Mr D and it was ready. Cost less than 3€ too.

    • Shellthecobbler

      Umm, that’s tomorrow night tea sorted !


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